Reviving Empty Offices: Transforming Unused Space into Urban Farms and Homes

Because of the pandemic, lots of people started working from home, right? So, what happened to the offices they used to work at? They’ve ended up being left empty, a lot of them. They do not produce any income. Owners of these spaces are having a tough time too. They’re finding it difficult to get money to keep their properties or to build new ones. Some buildings are even being demolished, and there is very little new construction for office space. This has led to a situation where there’s less office space than before. For the first time ever, we’re seeing less office space instead of more.
people started working from home

So, you might be thinking, what can we do with these empty office spaces? Well, one idea has been to change these offices into apartment buildings. Imagine living in a place that used to be an office, interesting right?

But this change isn’t easy. It’s a bit like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Office spaces and homes are designed differently and changing one into the other can be really costly. Also, for this change to make sense money-wise, the office space should be a lot cheaper than residential property, about half as much according to some experts.

Chart of declining office space

There’s another issue too. When an office is changed into apartments, there’s about 25% less space to rent out. That’s because people living in these spaces don’t rent common areas like corridors, which office companies would do. So, this solution only makes sense in certain situations.

So, if not homes, what else can we do with these empty office spaces? Now comes the really cool part. Some creative people have come up with the idea of changing these office spaces into…wait for it… urban farms!

Cost and hurdles of conversion
Why farms, you ask? Well, this change is easier to do and doesn’t cost as much money. It also doesn’t need as many changes to the office building. For example, a company called Area 2 Farms has come up with this really cool system called Silo. It’s a kind of conveyor belt system that can be used for urban farming in office spaces.
Urban farm in a former office building

Let’s look at the pluses of this. Vertical farming in office spaces can give the same amount of crops as traditional farming methods but uses way less energy and water. Plus, it’s not affected by bad weather or pests and can grow crops all year round.

So, by changing empty office spaces into farms, we’re solving a bunch of problems all at once. We’re using office spaces that aren’t needed anymore, we’re growing food for people who need it, we’re giving a boost to the real estate business, and we’re creating new jobs. It’s like hitting four birds with one stone.

Benefits of vertical farming
To wrap it up, changing office spaces into homes or urban farms could be a really smart solution for the commercial real estate business. It’s a great example of how people can come up with creative solutions when things change. Maybe the offices we used to work at will be the farms of the future.
ransforming Unused Space into Urban Farms

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